8 Ways to Winterize Your Home

Are you ready for another Wisconsin winter?  Ready or not, you can make sure that your home is ready for the winter months ahead by following these 8 ways to winterize your home. Gutters

  1. Clean Your Gutters: Once the leaves fall off of the trees, be sure to remove them from your gutters.  Clean gutters will help prevent against icicles and ice dams.  A serious ice dam problem can lead to a very messy water loss to the inside of your home.  If you have certain areas on your roof that are prone to large ice build up, consider a de-icing cable kit, such as the Frost King product found at your local Home Depot store.
  2. Flush the Water Heater: Over time, particles and sediment will collect at the bottom of your water heater.  This reduces the efficiency of the unit and can lead to malfunction.  Winter is a bad time to be without a water heater.  Take the time to flush the water through the drain valve.  This will help remove the particles and sediment build-up.
  3. Replace Filters: This should be a routine task in maintaining your home.  The winter months in Wisconsin typically mean long run times for your heating system, making replacement filters that much more important.  A clean and quality filter can greatly improve the efficiency and longevity of your system.
  4. Insulate:  Increasing the amount of insulation in your walls, attic, floor, and basement is a great way to keep heat inside.  An insulated home typically loses about a quarters of its heat through the roof.  Apply a thicker layer to your attic to keep those heating costs down!
  5. Check the Fireplace:  To start, make sure that your chimney is clean.  If it hasn’t been professionally cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove the soot and creosote.  Chimney fires are a major cause of loss for homeowners, a clean one can greatly reduce the likelihood of it happening to you.  Also, be sure to check that your caps and screens are in place…nobody needs a critter running through their house.  Lastly, make sure that the damper is operating correctly.  If you follow these steps, your chimney will continue to be a great source of added heat and relaxation during the Wisconsin winter months.
  6. Check Your Plumbing:  Locate your water main, just in case you need to shut it off in an emergency.  Be sure to drain and remove all outdoor hoses and to close their valves.  On the inside of the house, make sure that exposed plumbing is insulated.  Taking these steps will greatly reduce the chance of experiencing a pipe burst.
  7. Check Your Safety Detectors:  Make sure that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.  Test the battery and the function of each unit.  If you’re not sure when the battery was last replaced, spring for a new one.
  8. Furnace Inspection:  Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace.  An HVAC professional will be able to diagnose any problems or deficiencies in your unit.  From there, their knowledge and expertise will be able to get your unit running to its full capacity, keeping you and your home comfortable during those cold Wisconsin nights.